Wednesday, January 23, 2013

THE DAY THE SKY EXPLODED (1958) movie review

Day the Sky Exploded, The (1958) d. Heusch, Paolo

When the first manned space expedition goes awry, Paul Hubschmid’s rocket ship is abandoned and exploded, resulting in a rogue collection of asteroids being diverted from their orbit around the sun. Naturally they start heading towards Earth, wreaking all kinds of weather-related havoc (tidal waves, forest fires, etc.) en route to our certain extinction.

A not-bad sci-fi programmer from Italy, despite its heavy reliance on stock footage (the aforementioned natural upheavals, control rooms, an infinite number of missile launches). Mario Bava served as director of photography (although he’s credited as “Mario Baja”) and spaghetti horror buffs will spot his Kill Baby, Kill star Giacomo Rossi-Stuart as one of the frantic technicians attempting to thwart disaster through mathematics and thermonuclear warheads.

There’s an amusing little aural snafu about an hour into the flick – as the panicked crowds break through the military barrier, it becomes clear that the English dubbing team laid down a 15-second clip to cover a 2-minute scene. As a result, we hear a woman cry “My baby!” with the same inflection about eight times in a row.

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